“And That’s What You Missed on…GLEE!”: A Ranking


Leah Alder

“Glee” is a teen drama, comedy, and musical show that ran for 6 seasons and ended in 2009.

As anyone could’ve guessed, I am indeed a Gleek and am very passionate about the right ranking of Glee setlists. Glee has done tons of covers of many popular songs, but they always pulled out all the stops when it came to competition, but some setlists and performances are just clearly better than others. I will only be ranking the competition setlists of the first three seasons, because everything after that is irrelevant and because I want to, and I will also be excluding competitor performances, as this solely the New Directions. Without further ado, here’s what you missed on Glee.

8. Season Three Regionals

I think the “Fly/I Believe I Can Fly” mashup works well, and everybody loves an impressive Rachel solo with “Here’s To Us,” but it’s just not anything compared to the other competitions. No one special was featured, there wasn’t anything crazy or cool going on with choreo, and with the fact that I’m already not a huge fan of these songs, their covers didn’t make me love them or remember them.

7. Season Two Nationals

I applaud the entirely self-written setlist they came up with, but these were not as good as the songs they wrote for season two Regionals. “Pretending” was your standard Finn and Rachel duet we had already seen a million times, and it didn’t help that there was barely any choreo other than just walking around. “Light Up the World” was the best group self-written song, but it wasn’t enough for them to win, and the most exciting part of the performance was the kiss between Finn and Rachel that was not at all supposed to happen.

6. Season Two Regionals

“Get it Right” is the sole reason why this is better than Nationals of that season. I love this song with my whole being and the fact that it was an original song makes it even better. “Loser Like Me” however pulls it down to this spot. I obviously don’t like the original songs all that much, and I’m right in doing so. It was kind of cringey, the choreo wasn’t great, and I’m surprised they advanced to Nationals to be honest.

5. Season Pne Sectionals

This setlist has really good classics in it that really made Glee soar in popularity. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” are both already great songs with pretty good covers. “Don’t Rain On My Parade” specifically was iconic and challenged Barbara Streisand’s rendition of the song. This was the cover that made me realize just how talented Rachel was, and most definitely solidified the New Directions advancing to Regionals. The choreo for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was also better in this one than the others on this list despite the fact that it was last minute in the show.

4. Season Three Sectionals

I loved the Michael Jackson theme of this competition setlist, I just wished they chose better songs. They performed “Man in the Mirror” which was a great choice and I believe was their winning number, but “Control” and “ABC” sort of fell short. There was a serious lack of choreo during “Control” that I felt made it really boring and skippable, and “ABC” with Tina as the soloist was fun, but unimpressive. I do like the fact that way more people had opportunities than usual due to Rachel being banned from participating, but they had so much more potential for a true tribute to Michael Jackson. I also have always felt that the Troubletones should’ve won with their one mashup against the New Directions’s three songs, which tells you how much more hope I had for this setlist.

3. Season Two Sectionals

The Glee cover of “Valerie” in this competition setlist gives me severe euphoria. Santana should’ve definitely been given another solo after her phenomenal performance of this song, because this remains one of my favorite covers of all on Glee. Brittany and Mike with their creative and tiring partner work in this song too was the cherry on top. I also loved Sam and Quinn singing the ballad “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” as opposed to Finn and Rachel for a change, and it was beautiful, it just didn’t measure up with the greatness of “Valerie.”

2. Season One Regionals

Of course I think it’s basic that they chose to do a Journey medley, but I loved these covers and the choreo too much for it not to be ranked this high. “Anyway You Want It/Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” was a wonderful mashup and it was so energetic. The partner work was elaborate, and there was a lot going on all at the same time which I loved. They all had a lot of stamina and it looked so fun to do. “Faithfully” was Finn and Rachel’s first competition ballad, so obviously it’s iconic and it only helps that I get chills every time I listen to it. The harmonies of the background members and Finn and Rachel’s strong belts are impressive, powerful, and perfect. Finally, this version of “Don’t Stop Believin'” is more inclusive than any other version on the show, and I love that that’s how they closed their set.

1. Season Three: Nationals

The final competition for the original members was expected to be far superior to anything else so as to win Nationals, and it absolutely did not disappoint, especially fitting the competition theme of vintage. It started out with the Troubletones getting their well deserved group number of “Edge of Glory,” which made me love being a woman. Then Rachel’s gorgeous spine-chilling version of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” because if anyone is going to do Celine Dion justice, it’s going to be Rachel Berry. And then closing with the group number to end all group numbers, the perfect routine that absolutely guaranteed the New Directions the win, by far the best Glee competition closing number to date, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” I didn’t even know this song before they sang it on Glee, but upon hearing it, the cover is undeniably better. The energy was through the roof, the challenging partner work complimented the dresses, the vocals and featured parts of everyone were wonderfully executed, the ending pose and Mercedes’s vocal run at the end were chill-inducing, and everything about this performance I would argue was perfect. I feel very strongly that nothing about this setlist could’ve been made better, and that it is far superior to anything else portrayed at competition on Glee.